I know I’m far from being the only person to talk about that thing that happened in the sky on Monday. And I know I’m not the only one to draw this conclusion from it….but how freaking wonderful is it to think that for a couple hours, we were all united in one common thing? We weren’t worried about race or political agendas or murder or nuclear bombs. We weren’t bitching at the President (until we couldn’t deny how silly he looked staring into the sun) and we weren’t debating the resonance of statues dedicated to Confederate generals. We were just staring at the sky. All together. In crazy-looking cardboard glasses. And now, of course, we’re united in the memes and the jokes and the unrelenting traffic that still persists on the interstate. But you know, at least for once, we’re united in something good. Something beautiful. Something natural.
Along with Taylor Swift and her super creepy, cryptic snake video posts on Instagram.
Like many people, I took Monday off and gave myself a 3-day weekend. At first I thought I was going to be stuck in the office at the time of the eclipse, while my parents were already visiting Nashville to witness it and my boyfriend was planning a midday excursion with his parents for a taste of something different. I wasn’t looking forward to being the only one missing out on sharing the moment with someone special. And eventually my boss did decide to host a luncheon getting everyone out of the workday for a couple of hours. But by that time, I’d already come to terms with the fact that I was going to take that day for myself and truly enjoy it. And that’s exactly what I did. I don’t regret missing that day of work for anything.
Because Monday, August 21st wasn’t just about seeing the moon eclipse the sun. It wasn’t about science. It wasn’t about pictures and selfie opportunities. It was about love. And togetherness. And living in the moment. And that might look a little different for each of us…but for me it was all about being with the ones who matter – even if I couldn’t be with all of them at once. Seeing the eclipse wasn’t about seeing the darkness. It was about lighting up the memories surrounding the eclipse that I’ll never be able to forget. It was about driving to a small town and seeing all the cars parked at random self-made road stops with their folding chairs set up, beverages in hand. It was about pulling into a Sonic and ordering our food so we could sit in the grass and look up – surrounded by many people doing the exact same thing. It was about sharing conversations and pictures with my mom, who was the first person to make me aware of the event (even if I thought it was silly at first) and knowing it meant so much to her to be able to experience it in the line of totality.
It was about yelling “DIAMOND RING”. It was about feeling comfortable enough to shed a couple tears. It was about getting stuck in traffic on the way home, eating cookies a friend baked in the many phases of the moon. It was even about the hours leading up to and preceding our excursion – having the time to help out on the farm and drive across town to feed a traveling friend’s cat…then guiltily ordering a pizza because there was no way we were staying out any longer just to go to the grocery. And then it was about tagging along while my boyfriend did one of his many good deeds for the day, helping a friend mow her lawn, while I stayed in with her and we bonded over conversations about boys and furniture and our experiences viewing the eclipse earlier that day. It was about realizing over and over again as he mowed past the window just how much I appreciate him. Until finally it was just about riding on the bench seat of an old Dodge with the guy I love and listening to him sing “Dixieland Delight” all the way home until we collapsed together on the couch, unable to believe what we’d witnessed, and knowing we’d remember it forever.
Yes, all of that was my eclipse. And I’m sure it was much like yours, if not in the details, in the feelings and emotions you took with you afterwards. The day was like a holiday surrounding one 2-minute experience….and we had the rest of the day to make it whatever we wanted. I hope you made the most of it. I hope you saved some memories. Because that’s what it’s all about. That’s what we need to keep ourselves sane in this going crazy world.
Let’s keep the magic going a little longer, eh?
~~ h ~~